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Researching with Communities - Online

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This online course is aimed at researchers who are interested in learning more about community-engaged and co-produced research methods to conduct collaborative research with community groups and organisations. The training is delivered by two researchers with over 10-years experience in community-engaged research both of whom are also currently engaged in community-based research and teaching.

Over two half-days we will focus on both why and how to co-produce research with communities drawing on resources from academic and community sources as well as a range of useful examples from across our work in academia and the third sector. The course will focus in on the practicalities of working with and training community research teams as part of collaborative projects and will include practical ‘how-to’ guidance for enabling community researcher training to serve as an important space for collaboration across research teams. 

We broadly consider what we mean by community research exploring the different contexts this work has developed out of. We reflect on ethics, thinking about how to approach this work and suggest areas to consider in advance. We then focus on the ‘doing’ of the work, sharing the pragmatics of how we approach this work from designing research projects, to training collaborators, co-designing questions, carrying out fieldwork, analysis and dissemination. 

The training is discursive and interactive and aims to support people new to this area of research by sharing examples of practice and resources to draw on as well as enabling those with more experience to build on their existing knowledge.

The course covers: 

Introduction to community research

  • Introductions.
  • Exploring the definitions and principles of community research, co-production, engaged and participatory research.
  • Different approaches and perspectives to community research-looking across disciplines and sectors.
  • The role and potential of Community Researchers.
  • Motivations and values of community-based research 
  • Ethical practice – adopting an ethic and care and managing ‘mess’.

Motivations and values

When and how to co-produce – methods of co-production

  • Co-producing across the research cycle-pragmatics
  • Bringing different forms of expertise together-the role of training. 
  • Employing creative methods within community research 
  • What does ‘good’ look like?

By the end of the course participants will:

  • be able to situate coproduced community research within a diverse range of practice and traditions. 
  • be able to reflect on, anticipate and manage some of the ethical issues that may arise during community-based research 
  • be able to recognise when and how community-based research is appropriate. 
  • be able to draw on a range of pragmatic ideas and resources to support the set-up delivery and dissemination of community-based research.
  • be able to develop bespoke strategies to support community researchers within collaborative projects

This course is aimed at all researchers/project managers/public engagement professionals at any career stage interested in developing community based/co-produced/participatory research.  A basic working knowledge of zoom would be useful but a guide and support can be provided.

Preparatory Reading

Living Knowledge Report would be useful to review but no pre-reading is necessary. 

Creating Living Knowledge Report (2016)

RACE Charter (2024): RACE+Charter.pdf (squarespace.com)

Community Researchers and Community Researcher Training (2018)

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Course Leader

Professor Helen Thomas-Hughes and Dr Jenny Barke
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